My social media and blog have been purposefully silent on the events surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. This is not because I don’t care and I hope the fact that I’m tweeting about other, arguably less substantial things are not interpreted as indifference on my part. I am deeply disturbed by two grand jury decisions to not bring an indictment against the police officer responsible for a man’s death. While I understand that, at least in the case of Michael Brown, the evidence may be conflicting and while I believe that both police officers deserve a fair trial, I am confused as to how a grand jury could determine that these cases are not worth pursuing further. I am concerned about what this says about race relations in America (and have a hard time believing this isn’t about race in some way). As someone very interested in the role of civil resistance in social change, I have been watching the protests in Ferguson and elsewhere with deep interest.
But so far I have not felt the urge to speak out simply because I lack the expertise to add constructively to the conversation. And this conversation is so damn important that it warrants nothing but the best critical thinking and analysis. As such, I have chosen to listen.